Big Joe honored for being special to courthouse

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Ohio County Sheriff and courthouse officials honored Big Joe Halloran who officially “retired” as a special deputy for the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department on Friday, April 28th with the well wishes of the many people who work at the courthouse.

Big Joe became a special deputy nine years ago and rode with deputy Dee Smith four years where he says he learned a lot.

He then was moved to outside the second floor courtroom as courthouse security for two years. Safety of all office holders and employees, along with increased felonies, led to installation of metal detectors at the front door three years ago this November.

Halloran says he has never had any problems at the door. Some people have come with pocket knives, scissors and even a few have come in with guns.

“When they do (have guns), I ask for their permit and drivers license then ask them take them back out to the car,” explains Halloran. One of the most enforced policies is no cell phones allowed in the courtroom.

Since Ohio County has no jail, special deputy duties include transporting inmates from jails in Switzerland County, Dearborn County, Ripley County as well as trips to Pendleton, Plainfield and Branchville KY.

For Big Joe, his longest trip was to Savannah Georgia. Most of his transports have been with fellow special deputies Ron Spurlock and Ervin McKinley.”It’s been a pleasure working with sheriff Potts,” he adds. “He has all kind of knowledge. He may give you a butt chewing but then moves on. It’s been nothing but joy to work with him.”

His appreciation for the Potts family includes his son Corey Potts, Rising Sun Ohio County School Board president and pastor at Trinity Christian Church. He redid his weeding vows to second wife Kathy on Sunday, April 23rd..

Her first job under the new nuptials was to keep a secret retirement luncheon which was held on Monday, April 24th.

Sheriff Potts presented some retirement money and cards from many of Joe’s co-workers.

The sheriff presented a plaque to signify that BIG Joe Halloran has served the citizens of Ohio County and the State of Indiana as part of the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department. His service has been a great example of integrity, faithfulness, friendship and teamwork.

Prosecutor Lynn Deddens thanked him for always keeping them safe and went above and beyond.

Big Joe thanked his wife of 23 years who he met after the death of his wife Marilyn.

Joe is former truck driver but many will remember him as a wrestler. He gave up wrestling at 55 and will turn 70 in September.

The word retirement sounds good but Big Joe is not retired completely. He will fill in when needed.

John Ryle, former American Red Cross director, has taken his place.

Big Joe’s advice, “don’t look down to nobody. It don’t matter what they look like when they come in here. A nice welcome goes a long way.”

The many ladies in the courthouse expressed their appreciation.

“It’s time to move on but it’s going to be hard. I’ve been here nearly every day for five years,” added the father of four, 22 grandchildren and one great grandson (son of his son Joe’s daughter).

Other than time with family, Big Joe will continue to serve.

A Vietnam veteran, he plans to spend his time working to help veterans.

His biggest praise is for former Ohio County Veterans Officer P.G. Gentrup who has helped countless veterans.

A member of American Legion, KWVA, and Vietnam Veterans Association, he serves on the honor guard for each of them and is a mason

“I’m going to do whatever P.G. says,” Big Joe plans to work on veterans needs along with Jerry Bondurant, Brett Bondurant, purple heart recipient Walter Bryant and Gentrup.